Sunday, 22 September 2013

We Are The Night (2010)

Lena (Karoline Herfurth) is a petty criminal who finds herself chased by a determined young policeman (Tom, played by Max Riemelt) after accidentally ripping off a major scumbag. After she just manages to evade capture, Lena ends up at a nightclub where she is approached and bitten by Louise (Nina Hoss). It's not long until Lena accepts her new life and is living it up with Louise, Charlotte (Jennifer Ulrich) and Nora (Anna Fischer) as the group race fast cars, pay people to let them shop in expensive department stores late at night, dance among people they can choose to snack on and generally have a great time. Meanwhile, Tom finds Lena and wants to let her know that she's not going to be in any trouble. In fact, he's hoping that they can see each other. But relationships can be as harmful to vampires as sunlight. Lena may be tempted, but Louise is always watching.

There you have it. The cold queen vamp - Louise. The spirited newcomer to the fold who doesn't want to kill - Lena. The depressed one - Charlotte. The hyperactive, fun one - Nora. Each and every one is a particular type of vampire that we've seen many times before. There's nothing original to We Are The Night. So why should you watch it?

Well, it's all done very well. And it's all given just enough energy and style to make you forgive the fact that you've already seen it done a hundred times before. Director Dennis Gansel, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jan Berger, happily picks great moments from vampire movies of the past century and mixes them into a plot that teases the possibility of a more interesting narrative strand, one that details why male vampires aren't around. Sadly, that strand is left hanging but that leaves time and space for even more fun.

The performances are all perfectly fine, with the leads all being enjoyable enough in their varied roles (I can't single anyone out for praise as I liked them all equally), and the film mixes lots of effective, cheap tricks in amongst some fairly solid, considering the budget, special effects to provide more spectacle and bang for your buck than you'd expect from such fare.

The fact that one sequence, in particular, borrows so heavily from Near Dark doesn't make that sequence any less enjoyable. It simply highlights, perhaps, what allows We Are The Night to work so well. If you're going to steal then steal from the best. My good friend, Christianne Benedict, reminds viewers (in her review right here) that this doesn't re-invent the wheel. That's absolutely true. But it does steal some damn nice alloys and take them for a spin.


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